03 Dec Questions for Vince Perfetto, President, Foundation for New Hampshire Independence
While the list of reasons to declare our independence seems never-ending, one very basic concept that all NH citizens can understand is money. NH is consistently one of the biggest donor states, every year. As you know, a “Donor State” is a state that pays more to the Federal Government than it receives. From 1986-2005, New Hampshire was ranked as a Top 5 donor state out of the 50 states, every single year for 20 years. NH citizens consistently pay more to Washington DC than they receive. Independence will mean we can keep our money right here at home rather than begging Washington DC for part of our money back.
What are your prospects for success?
Success to us will mean that enough NH citizens will be informed about the benefits of independence to make a very real impact on the direction of NH. Since we’re a non-profit, tax deductible foundation, success to us will not necessarily be legislative success. If NH citizens are educated on the issues and talking about them with their friends, family members, co-workers, and classmates, we’ll be successful.
Our speech is definitely restricted as a tax-deductible foundation, but this can be a blessing in disguise. For example, when we’re asked which political party, political candidate, or legislation we support, we can confidently say that we’re actually not allowed to comment too much on those types of questions. This will prevent our opponents from pigeon-holing us as an arm of any political party. In some ways, we’re more free and protected.
The other obvious benefit is that all donations are tax-deductible. After we work hard and prove that our Foundation is worthy of support, we expect the larger donors to take a look at us. If we’re successful in NH, the implications are global.
In Texas v. Smith (1869), the Supremes rendered secession illegal (surprise!) but the Miller/Swayne dissent provides an interesting backdrop to why the court was wrong even from a Constitutional perspective. What do you think?
As you say, it’s not surprising that the federal government would tell citizens that they can’t leave the federal government. That’s the equivalent of a possessive, wife-beating, lying, unfaithful husband being anointed the judge at his own divorce proceeding; he’s always going to side with himself and rule that the wife can’t leave him.
The federal constitution doesn’t specifically address the issue of a state separating, but the right to leave is implied with the 10th Amendment. Furthermore, there aren’t very many constitutions that actually specificaly give the people the option of revolting and/or leaving. However, that’s another thing that makes NH different. The NH constitution specifically mentions this right in Article 10, The Right of Revolution, which says, “…whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government”. This, to me, is another detail that helps NH in our quest for independence.
Any coordination with the Free State Project New Hampshire?
There is absolutely no coordination between our Foundation and the FSP and there never will be. Some of their members are supporting our efforts and some of their members are definitely against everything we do.
I think every state should have one of these organizations and eventually a cross-country consensus can be built. Do you anticipate a research arm to your institution; a clearinghouse for national and global secession movements and trends?
This is a great idea that would certainly help a lot of people in this world. Right now, we’re only concerned with NH independence. In the future, after we gain our independence in NH, perhaps we could transition into a more national organization.
Is America as a centralized polity too big to succeed?
America is without a doubt too centralized and too enormous to succeed. Really, America’s fate has been sealed for several decades. When a nation grows too big – both in territory and in population – it’s inevitable that a separation is needed. One city trying to control the lives of over 315 million people, even for the biggest fan of centralized government, can’t last forever. Inevitably, when asked how the country should be governed, the people living in one area of the country are going to disagree with the people in another area of the country. A peaceful separation would solve the grievances.
Do you think that a plurality of multitude of different nations in north America will lead to more peaceful and prosperous times?
In my opinion, peace will be the ultimate benefit of a break-up of the United States. Never again will American citizens pay for wars half way around the world that have little or nothing to do with the security of the US. It’s true that without central banking and a fiat currency, there would be no chance of achieving the level of centralization currently demonstrated in Washington DC. But to me, the loss of human life is the biggest tragedy. The fewer large, centralized nations there are in the world, the lesser the odds are of war.
One of the reasons the US was so prosperous is because of a giant (mostly) free trade zone between all of the 50 states. As long as Americans realize this and continue a similar policy in the post-US world, Americans will be more prosperous than ever before.